After months of hitting the campaign trail, Republican candidates hoping to win their party’s nomination for the 2012 presidential election have been spending most of their time in planes, trains and automobiles. Home, sweet, home has been a dizzying series of hotel rooms.
But out there somewhere, each of these politicians actually does have a domestic domicile where there are no corn dogs to eat, no stranger’s babies to hold and no stray swarms of supporters to glad-hand.
As the GOP primary season cranks into high gear, we’re taking a look at the homes these candidates want to trade in for the big white one at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. in Washington. D.C.
The former House speaker was born in Pennsylvania, grew up in Georgia and served as a U.S. Congressman from the Peach State, but he now calls McLean, VA home. After his resignation as speaker in 1998, Gingrich’s aspirations to transform the nation, as outlined in his 1994 “Contract With America,” were short-circuited. Now, however, the 68-year-old author is taking no prisoners as he tries to leap-frog over Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum for a shot at the GOP nomination.
Gingrich purchased his home (above) in McLean in 2000 for $995,000. The 5-bedroom, 5-bath home has 5,206 square feet of living space. The Colonial-style home was built in 1987. Only 10 miles from the White House, McLean is a critical suburban outpost for the Beltway political crowd.
The two-term governor of Utah has spent time in Washington D.C. in diplomatic positions during George W. Bush’s presidency and as an ambassador to China under President Barack Obama. Huntsman currently calls the nation’s capital his home, residing in a Federal-style home since 2010.
The 5-bedroom, 4.5-bath brick house is in the heart of the politician-stacked Kalorama neighborhood. Built in 1911, the 5,119-square-foot home housed the seventh season cast of “Top Chef” prior to Huntsman and his family moving in.
During his 20-year service in Congress, Rep. Ron Paul established himself as one of the country’s leading libertarians. The prophet of self-rule and minimal government is making his third bid for the presidency.
At 76, Paul has been successful in rallying younger voters seeking a leader who promises to alter the political structure of the country. And true to the profile of a man who advocates for people doing things for themselves — in politics or elsewhere — it’s not surprising to find that Paul is trying to sell his house via the Internet without a real estate agent or broker.
The Lake Jackson home is priced at $325,000 and has 4 bedrooms, 5 bathrooms and 5,500 square feet of living space.
Gov. Rick Perry is the longest-serving top leader of Texas ever, but now he wants to break out of the Lone Star State, just like his former boss, George W. Bush, under whom Perry served as lieutenant governor.
Perry currently calls the Texas Governor’s Mansion home, but during the mansion restoration in 2007, Perry and his wife rented a $9,900-a-month home in Austin that “raised some eyebrows,” according to the Associated Press. The secluded estate sits on 3.25 acres and includes high-end amenities like Sub-Zero appliances and gourmet kitchen with marble and granite countertops, outdoor kitchen and pecan hardwood floors.
The former Massachusetts governor is hoping that his 2008 failure to secure the GOP nomination will turn into a presidential election win in 2012. He’s running as a non-politician, calling himself a businessman who can turn the wheels of the U.S. economy. As the wealthiest of the candidates with an estimated net worth between $190 million and $250 million, it’s clear Romney knows how to spur his own economic recovery.
Out of the slew of GOP candidates, Romney also owns the most real estate, although he has downsized in the last few years. He currently owns a townhouse in Boston, as well as a beachfront home in La Jolla, which he bought in 2008 for $12 million. Romney applied for a permit to expand his beachfront La Jolla home in 2011 and will reportedly begin construction when his presidential campaign is finished.
> See Mitt Romney’s 6 homes
Former two-term Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum lost his seat to Democrat Bob Casey in 2006, but he proved that his governmental connections were good for business in his years as a Philadelphia Inquirer writer, Fox News commentator and conservative think-tank leader.
In 2007, after much controversy about whether he and his large family actually resided in Pennsylvania during his Senate terms, Santorum bought a yellow Colonial-style home in Great Falls, VA for $2 million in 2007. The 4-bedroom, 5-bath home sits on five acres and includes a cobbled drive and heated pool.